Monday, June 1, 2009

A review of an unnecessary mediocre new search engine from Microsoft

Alternate title: "Bing: Could it be any more unnecessary?" but then only Friends fans would get it.

So... Microsoft couldn't buy Google. In their quest to own the entire world, they're trying the next best thing. Yet ANOTHER search engine. (Didn't they try this a few times this decade?)


Bing. As in, and get this, "BING is not Google".

And well, it is not. Let's start with our review, shall we?

The first thing I did (After searching for Google on Bing and Bing on Google which gave me a taste of what I was in for.) was try and feed my inflated ego by searching for my username on various internet forums and web sites...


First, some regular old web searching...

On Google, I get a lot of results for my own activity on the internet. My Flickr, my YouTube, my, a lot of pages I have been to. [VIEW]

On Bing, I get "Did you mean 'Jasco'?" Bing DEFAULTS to showing you results for what it THOUGHT you meant. Instead of showing you results for WHAT YOU SEARCHED FOR. Let me repeat that in a shorter way. It assumes you meant something else and makes you take an extra step to see what you meant. Wait.. that was actually longer. Still. [VIEW]

Now, it is basically adding in these other results. My results for Jasoco are still there.... but they don't show up until the 8th page. I had to go to page 8 to find myself.

On Google, it shows you two alternates for "Jasco", and then all the results for what I typed, "Jasoco". Bing assumes I meant "Jasco" and goes in that direction. On the "Web" search page, it shows a link to search for just "Jasoco", but only on that page...

Now let's take a look at Video search.

On Google, clicking the Video link and searching for Jasoco, I get all the videos I put on YouTube. As well as some photos from Flickr. (Which seems odd, but remember Flickr can take video too so I can see it.) All my own videos. [VIEW]

Bing shows me, yet again, ONLY VIDEOS PERTAINING TO "JASCO". Now, to be fair, page 2 does have three videos relating to me. The first being one I commented on, another being the one I posted for GeekPub and lastly my "William Shatner - It Hasn't Happened Yet" video. I don't know where the rest are. Oh.. look.. there's ONE MORE on the last page.. which is page 8. Yeah, it only goes to page 8. [VIEW]

Next, this is the worst... Image Search.

Searching for Jasoco on Google Images gives me a lot of images related to me. Images from pages I might have commented on, images I posted, images from my Flickr and posts on NeoGAF. [VIEW]

But on Bing? *sigh* What the hell is "Jasco"? It's a company that makes scrubs for hospital workers! Also, the name of someones dog that died four years ago apparently. May he rest in peace. I had to scroll a looong time to get to the first photo I recognized. A photo of Gregory House as Gordon Freeman that was on my site that no longer exists. A little further and I find another picture. But then nothing more. And I went all the way to the end! Nothing from my Flickr! At all! [VIEW]

Pretty much every result on Google is for me. And on Bing? Pretty much nothing at all.

Bing failed the best test. The "Google Yourself Test". Or should I call it the "Bing Yourself Test"?

No. No, I shouldn't.

A little more fair chance..

Now I'll be more fair. Let's do the "Search for something more common test". So I searched for the first thing I could think of. MacBook.

Image results were different, but contained pretty much the same stuff. The same gold plating came up on both, Google had it first, Bing had a picture of a bloody MacBook missing a screen.

Web Search was pretty identical.

But Video was where it all fell apart. Google showed videos about MacBooks. Bing showed.. I don't know what Bing showed.

Shopping on both proved identical.

Next I tested Maps. Now obviously, Google uses Google Maps.. what does Bing use? Why Microsoft Virtual Earth of course. Both are pretty much in sync now anyway so there's no winner. I did search for MacBook on Maps though and for some reason Google started me off with a map of Spain while Bing did show me Philadelphia and a store in Philly. Still.

Bing is trying too hard to kill Google by being too much like Google. But not enough where it counts.

My final verdict?

Now, I know. It's a Beta. But do we really want a new search engine that does the same thing as one that already works perfectly? There is no need for Bing! The only Bing the world needs is Chandler. Could he be any more needed?

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